Six young New Zealanders went to Kiribati in February 2017, to help kick off a partnership between Kiribati and Kiwi youth.

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The Kiribati Project


Two years ago, the then President of Kiribati Anote Tong invited our friend Damaris to bring New Zealanders to his country. Then, Pelenise Alofa of KiriCAN wrote to Damaris, inviting her to bring young New Zealanders. So how could we say no?

"Many people do not know we exist. Many people do not know that we are affected by climate change. We need help to adapt and to migrate in dignity when the time comes… Bring people to Kiribati, people of influence. Tell our story.” - Anote Tong


A Pacific island nation with a population of around 110,000 people, Kiribati is unique. It's made up of three chains of islands - the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands, and the Line Islands - spread across 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean, bang on the equator.

To get from South Tarawa in the Gillberts to Kiritimati in the Line Islands, you have to spend weeks at sea or fly through a couple of other countries - they're as far apart as Perth and Sydney, or LA and Florida!


Kiribati is one of the world's most climate vulnerable nations. South Tarawa's highest point is just three metres above sea level.

And the people of Kiribati are already facing climate impacts now. This ship smashed through a Betio seawall in the storm surge after Cyclone Pam. The surge flooded the maternity hospital and salinated taro pits hundreds of metres inland.


Reducing Kiribati to just a climate vulnerable state and jumping to call its people climate migrants just isn't right. Kiribati's people absolutely do not want to leave their home.

There is so much more going on. Kiribati is the Pacific's poorest country, and it faces a whole stack of sustainable development challenges. Those stories deserve to be told, and understood.


This isn't voluntourism. We don't believe we have things "teach" the i-Kiribati.

We think we have things to learn. We went to collect as many stories as we can, to bring them back and share them with young New Zealanders back home. Our aim is to help break down the disconnect between ‘us’ and ‘them’, to help young Kiwis understand of global issues.




Benj Brooking | Videographer

Benj is an Auckland based filmmaker who loves the challenge of producing media that is both engaging and effective. He primarily works on educational and promotional material to inspire social change, but also creates music videos and short films. He believes that better media can help create a better world. In addition, Benj is involved with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth and the New Zealand Red Cross. He went to the Lima and Paris UN climate talks with our good friends in the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute.


Devon.jpgDevon Hanna | Photographer 

Devon is a Masters student at the University of Auckland in Development Studies. She spent two years living in China where she taught English and ate as many dumplings as possible. She has an undergrad degree in Anthropology and Sociology and recently did research in Fiji on post-disaster processes following Cyclone Winston. Devon enjoys hiking, taking photos and is always up for finding out what's around the next corner. 


Maddie.jpgMaddie Little | Project lead

Maddie is a student at Victoria University pursuing a triple major in Development Studies, Political Science and International Relations. She joined p3 in 2016 and is working as the lead volunteer of the Kiribati delegation. Maddie has also attended COP20 as a youth delegate which sparked her interest in development in the Pacific Islands. She wants to see the reframing of i-Kiribati as leaders of our generation facing development issues, and take what she learns from them back to New Zealand to spread the word.


Jamie McDell | MusicianJamie.jpg

 Jamie burst onto the Kiwi music scene in 2012 with You’ll Never Take That Away and Rewind, which both topped the NZ Singles Chart. She’s has been writing songs since the age of 7. There is no complicated science or marketing magic behind her success, just good old fashioned talent and dedication, alongside that rare ability to tell a story in an honest, direct way that cuts through all of the unnecessary ephemera of modern life. Selected as a very ‘hands on’ Official Ambassador for Surf Life Saving New Zealand, and with a raft of charitable works under her belt, Jamie is anything but your usual cut and dried pop star.

Raised in surf-centric Mangawhai, and spending several years of her youth living on a sailboat travelling around the Mediterranean with her family, the pull of the ocean is deep and profound for Jamie, colouring her lyrics, life and outlook – and so she jumped at the chance to visit Kiribati with P3!


Juan.jpgJuan Manuel Parada | Videographer

Juan is a human that uses cameras, computers, and technology to tell stories. He was born in Bogotá, Colombia, went to school, learned as many languages as he could, and since then has traveled the world as much as he can trying to meet people, see places and find stories.  He enjoys adventures (real and imagined), sea animals and food. So far, his biggest fear is one day being irreversibly bored.

He pays the bills by working at Newshub, editing the news for New Zealanders. He also reads many books and tries to spend as much time as he can underwater, scuba diving.


David.jpgDavid Tong | Photographer / ex-P3 CEO

David helped to co-found P3 Foundation in 2009, and has made a massive contribution to the organisation since then. He has a background in law, but brings a wealth of experience from a range of roles in the charitable and campaigning sector. He is a campaigner at WWF-New Zealand.

In 2016, he was P3 Foundation's CEO. He went to Kiribati with the Pacific Calling Partnership in September 2016, building relationships and partnerships to pave the way for our 2017 team.


There's no way we could visit all of Kiribati, so we're going to South Tarawa - the main atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Half of Kiribati's population live there, along one road that stretches along the south side of the atoll - from Betio, through Bairiki, past Ambo (the capital!), and on through other towns and villages to Bonriki.

We also made it out to Abaiang and North Tarawa, the nearest outlying islands to South Tarawa.

kirican-logo.jpg kccn_logo.jpg PCP_logo.jpg




We are guests in Kiribati. It really matters to us that we build genuine relationships and partnerships for work like this.

And we are so, so lucky to be working with three incredible partners - the Pacific Calling Partnership, KiriCAN, and the Kiribati Children Campaigners' Network.


We'll be sharing our journey through P3's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (as well as our personal ones!).

Oh, and maybe Snapchat too? So stay in touch!

Connect with us:

Email us: [email protected]
Phone our CEO, Nicholl: +64 21 260 9445
Mail things to us: PO Box 105-714, Auckland Central, Auckland 1143

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P3 Foundation, Auckland, New Zealand
P3 Foundation is a New Zealand incorporated charitable trust board (incorporation number 2539431) and registered New Zealand charity (charities number CC45026). Copyright © 2011 - 2016

Powered byNationbuilder
Built byFor Purpose

P3 Foundation is a New Zealand incorporated charitable trust board (incorporation number 2539431) and registered New Zealand charity (charities number CC45026). Copyright © 2011 - 2016